Category Archives: Love

6 ways to speak love in your relationships…

From time to time in our relationships, including familial and platonic connections, we may begin to take the people in our lives for granted.  In these cases, we can often choose to direct our focus from the continued work of building our union to the laxity of disconnection, even if on a subconscious level.  When the stagnation begins to overtake a relationship it can be easily broken by the effort of speaking love to your partner, friend or family member.  Like fresh air this can ultimately breath new life into your connections!

Encouragement You can practice encouragement in many ways, but there are two that I’ll focus on here: verbaland  physical.  Verbally telling someone how proud you are of them or how great of a cook they are can truly build a sense of love in a relationship.  Physical encouragement comes in the form of support.  When I first started my t-shirt company I felt truly encouraged because I had the support of my family and friends.  My mom would encourage me to get my shirts in stores and she would tell anyone that fit the audience about my book.  I had friends that took cards and placed them all over the city and my ex attended shows with me all over the US helping me sell items for hours and hours all in the name of support (and love of course).  When you truly love someone you’re invested in them and their dreams because they are a part of who they are.  I knew my family and friends loved me not only because they said how proud they were of me pursuing my goals, but because they put actions to the words.  It didn’t have to be big, it could be as simple as sharing their current endeavor on social media.   But also keep in mind that the encouragement should always come from a genuine place, not one of manipulation, flattery or wanting to impose your views on someone else’s efforts. 

Respect Honoring that persons presence by speaking to them with tones and other verbal cues which reflect respect is a large part of speaking love into your connections.  Always attempt to Express gratitude for the gift of who they are and their role in your life through your expressions and interactions.

Protection Speaking from a sense of guarding each others hearts in relationship  and not just physically but showing that you are committed to keeping this person safe on all fronts is crucial to security.  If that person knows that you will use their own words against them later on, they won’t want to share with you who they really are.  Protection can consist of numerous concepts including protection of that persons character, heart and ultimately soul by pulling them closer to God consistently.

Silence Sometimes the best way to show love is by keeping your mouth shut or as one of my favorite preachers, Heather Lindsey, would say invoke he spirit of shut-up!  This one is might be difficult for me as I always have something to say and often feel as if I’ll burst if it doesn’t eventually topple off my tongue.  Practicing the self-control involved with quietly allowing someone to make their own mistakes without a big I told you so or not being spiteful and vindictive with your words can be difficult, but mastered. Taking the time to quietly mull things over before speaking or give them to God to work out can have a powerfully positive impact on your relationships.

Dependability Being a woman or man of your word, doing what you said you would or being where you said you would be are all large partsofbuildinf a string foundation in relationships.  We all have that flaky friend that says they are going to be somewhere but never shows up, unfortunately there are plenty of times that I have been her!  Once we come to expect someone to blow us off or not keep their word it often starts to place cracks in the foundation, your .  James and Matthew tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no and in other words, do what you say you’re going to do.  Everyone falls short and within the expectation of dependability there has to be some grace shown simply for human frailty, no one can be perfect all of the time, but if it’s a consistent pattern it will make the person you’re in relationship with wonder about your integrity and seriousness. 

Grace As I stated previously grace plays a large part in speaking love.  By extending grace to our loved one we are allowing them to mess-up and not be constantly ridiculed or berated.  They know that you are a safe place where they can come and feel free to be themselves.

Do you have any other ways you choose to express love in your relationships?  Please feel free to share in the comments! 

God Bless!

Court 

 

 

 

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How to get over it and get on with your life…

One thing about most relationships is that at some point they end.  Wether it’s due to a fall out, death or just a natural parting of ways, relationships change as we have come to know them, it’s inevitable.  But what happens with the collapse of a relationship that you didn’t expect or want to end as quickly as it did?  What do you do when you want to move on but just can’t seem to get the person out of your head no matter what you do?  Below I’ll give you 4 D’s that have seemed to work in my favor when trying to get over an ex.

Decide: the main thing you have to do is get your mind and heart to line up so that they are on the same page.  If the relationship ended because of something you did or if it’s an ex you can’t seem to get over you have to make up your mind that you aren’t going to focus on the past.  Realize that the could’ve beens and the what if’s aren’t going to happen and move on from there.  You have to create thoughts that are forgiving, of yourself for the wrongs you inflicted and understanding from that persons point of view.  I’ve been in relationships and friendships where I’ve allowed my selfishness, pride or emotions to ruin what could’ve been a great partnership.  But in the end I know that if I have tried to make up for it, be a better me and still it wasn’t enough I have to approach the decisions made from a different mindset.  Now, this doesn’t mean I’m off the hook and as we’re all striving towards the goal of perfection I recognize that I have to continually improve and grow.  Even if it’s not something you did and the relationship ended abruptly or before the time you thought it would, you have to let it go by focusing on forgiveness, the positivity of your future so that you can truly seek to understand and grow as a person.

Distance: Some people may be able to remain in a somewhat amicable relationship with a person after a major shift in a relationship status.  But usually, at least for a short amount of time there needs to be some distance granted.  This has to include the mental distancing as well as physical (if possible).  If you broke up with someone and you’re still hanging out, calling, texting etc as before it will be more difficult to break things off and move forward from the pain.  The creation of distance allows breathing space and speaking from personal experience the ability to move on quicker.  In a years time you probably won’t even be thinking about the person you can’t seem to get out of your head today.
Delete: if you have social media relations with the person and you find yourself constantly checking on them it may be best to either delete or block them at least for a short while.  The feelings that you have will continue to linger if you’re always trying to watch their every move, plus how would you feel if you saw them with someone else?  I’m guessing not so great, so why even put yourself through that torture?  Know that more than likely this is not the person God had for you and keep it moving.

Date:  I was once told that the best way to get over a man is to get under a new one.  I’ll just start of with saying that I DO NOT believe or buy into that theory although I used to.  And what I’ve learned is that usually, you just wind up dating someone for a while and still have that one person on your mind in the end or regret wasting your time on a random.  So when I say date, I don’t necessarily mean with other men you’re romantically interested in, but make play dates with your friends and family to just be in a safe place to express yourself and have fun.  Date yourself, I’m always one for going or doing something with me because I love my company, get to know you and what you desire.  And date Jesus, make am appointed time to read his word each day and try your best to stick with it.  There’s nothing wrong with getting back out there, but just make sure your heart is whole and that you are truly ready to do so.

Develop:  The important thing is to focus on you and your life.  How will you grow from here?  How will you improve?  Ask yourself these three questions: 1. How did I assist in the demise of this relationship (recognize) 2. What does this say about me and the changes I need to make and (analyze) 3. What very specific changes will I make in my life to reach this goal (rise)?  For instance, my last relationship ended for a number of reasons, but one thing I know I didn’t do was enough encouraging or building up.  I was a proverbs 14:1 woman, just the latter of the two as I often used my mouth to tear him down when I wasn’t satisfied.  So I take ownership over that. As a result, I know I need to work on being an encourager so I’ve been reading books*, watching videos and making sure that I encourage at least one person in my life a day.  It’s not something that comes naturally for me but it’s something that I can work towards developing and I’m grateful for the chance to do so. Take the time to better yourself and make that into a priority.  Someone better will come along, they always do, the question is will you be ready when it happens? 

*Becoming an encourager on purpose by Marty Celaya is one of the books that I’ve been reading that pertains specifically to being an encourager. So far so good make sure to check it out if this is something you are looking to implement! 

God bless

Court ☺️

Why I stayed…

We met the summer before I was to become a freshman in college, he was tall, cute and in my own words ‘an older man’ (four years older).  But I was intrigued because he wasn’t like the boys in high school that were immature and silly, he had a real job and his own car.  He would be my first everything including encounter with cheating and abuse.  The first two years of our relationship were fine as we were long distance, but when he moved to live with me things took a violent turn.  I can remember the first time he hit me, it came as such a shock I didn’t really know what to do, I remember it till this day, he punched me three times in the head and tried to pull my eye out of the socket.  The police were called, my parents were called and I was taken to the hospital for treatment.  I still did not say good bye, but after that I began to fight back and when we fought it was dirty, punches were thrown, memories destroyed and vicious words tossed around like ammunition to see who could hurt the other the most.  We would find each other fighting like enemies and making up like lovers, it was a horrible debilitating cycle that many people find themselves involved in.  Although the physical scars have long since healed, dealing with such hatred and negativity left many internal scars some of which are still slightly open.  I’ve often wondered why I remained in that relationship for so long and have had people ask me the same.  I came up with three main reasons why I and many other people remain, I’ll admit for me in essence they are all excuses for not loving myself enough to leave the situation.

Our souls agreed:  My ex and I were both fractured human beings for different reasons, he grew up in a household where he saw his dad beat his mom and I had come from a home where my dad never hit me and had loving parents but dealt with other issues that wrecked my self-esteem. Because I didn’t truly love me Somewhere deep inside I agreed with treatment that told me I was unworthy of love and being handled lovingly.  Beyond the insecurities I’d built up being molested as a child, years of constant bullying and a tremendous amount of self-inflicted deprecation, his words confirmed what I already felt about myself.  There was always someone prettier right around the corner because I wasn’t that beautiful, my body was ugly and skinny, I could never get another man to care for me etc etc.  I ate the negativity up and it only fed my unhealthy negative self image. I stayed because I didn’t think I deserved better.

There was benefit: As I said my self esteem was not the greatest, I allowed people to walk over me, say whatever they wanted and get away with taking advantage of me. I internalized a lot of pain and the only time I seemed to be able to release it was when I was angry, I didn’t have (and am still working on) the tools for communicating effectively within the boundaries of a respectful and nonaggressive confrontation or argument.  In that situation I felt vindicated in venting through painful words and fighting back because he was just as aggressive as I was, it actually felt good to release the frustration and in some twisted way speak up for myself, it was a rush.  Unfortunately, it’s how I continued to handle confrontation in my relationships going forward and am now paying the consequences as I continued to fight dirty verbally when angry.  In addition I also received sympathy from my friends, when I would have bruises or went to the hospital.  It felt good to know people cared for me and had my back but in return I easily allowed myself to play the role of the victim which is something that’s haunted me for years.

There was comfort in the pain: In addition to being comfortable with him, I also believe the torment felt familiar from the years of bullying as a child by peers.  The name calling and the breaking down of me as a person that I had allowed in the past was akin to his speech when it came to me.   After being with someone for years at a time many of us can become reliant on them being in our lives and that attachment, albeit healthy or not, makes it more difficult to leave the relationship.  Change is scary, I didn’t want the burden of getting to know someone else’s flaws, faults and secret skeletons that lurked behind their closet doors.  I reigned myself to stay with him because I thought it was love and I knew what to expect.

The reasons people remain in abusive relationships vary vastly, there is no cookie cutter clue as to why some are willing to put up with physical harm.  If you or someone you know are in a destructive relationship I would take a look at this article I wrote on what to do to get out!  I sincerely pray for your healing, physical and spiritual restoration and release from such a situation.

God Bless,
Court

I pray for you a man…

Yesterday, I was reading an article about a young couple that waited until marriage to have sex and I found myself thinking back to my dating life as a young woman, unfortunately my lifestyle at the time wasn’t on track to lead by the same example set by this couple.  I realize that saving your virginity for marriage isn’t for everyone, but I honestly regret giving such a precious gift to my ex and truly wished it was something I could have saved for my husband.  Now that being said I’m not that young anymore and let’s just say if I had waited to have sex until marriage I would be well on my way to being the female counterpart of the 40-year-old virgin.  I’m getting to the point where being single has become normalcy and although I would like to be married one day I’m unsure if I even want to without the possibility of having children and the older I get the more my chances of doing so decrease. Believe me, my doctor drilled this into my head just the other day.  In reading the article, I thought that it may be too late for me, but there are some things that throughout my dealings with men and relationships that I learned and would tell young women today (and my daughter if God decides to bless me in that way) to seek and pray for in a mate, this is my prayer for them.

I pray for you a man who will support you, that will be your strength when you are weak, that will pamper, console, spoil and care for you, a man who will be your strongest cheerleader and weakest critic

I pray for you a man who will be faithful and loyal. I pray that you never have to feel the anguish of a broken heart, but if you do, know that it will teach you many lessons and allow it make you better not bitter

I pray for you a man who is diligent about keeping his word and that understands the strength of it, a man who knows his foundation begins with what he declares

I pray for you a man who see’s your body as more than something to pleasure him sexually and domestically or to be abused but that recognizes your body as God’s temple

I pray for you a man who honors your purity and desires to present you without spot before the Lord, a man who purposes to refrain from sexual sin because he desires a relationship with God more than he does with you

I pray for you a man who can make you laugh wholehearted, deep-belly, genuine laughs even on days when you feel like crying the most

I pray for you a man who will take the time to get to know you as a person, someone who calls you daily, woo’s you romantically, and stimulates you mentally, a man who will not stop pursuing you even after he knows he has you

I pray for you a man who feels pain when you are hurting because he is sensitive to your feelings and hates to see you unhappy

I pray for you a man who is proud but not prideful, that is confident but not conceited and is decisive but not stubborn

I pray for you a man who see’s the value of your input and the wisdom that flow’s through you from above and I pray that his ego is able to take a back seat to your opinions, views and ideals so that he truly hears and listens to your voice

I pray for you a man who love’s conversing with you because he enjoys getting to know you even after he know’s all about you

I pray for you a man who consistently acknowledges the beauty of you and will always choose to see the best in you

I pray for you a man able to find the delicate balance between the gentleness and strength required of great leaders

I pray for you a man who is mature enough to walk away if he is not ready to treat you in the proper manner  or a man who will  not hang on to you simply because he does not want to let you go but yet is not able to be the man you need

I pray for you a man who understands the meaning of relationship and that does not love in a self-serving manner, a man who is able to serve and provide for his family

I pray for you a man who you do not need, but truly want to have in your life and that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt loves and care’s about you because his actions say so more than his words

I pray for you a man that makes loving him easy even in the hardest of times and that seeks to truly and fully live out the command of loving you like Jesus loved the church

Be Blessed,

Court

What love is not…

Throughout my life I’ve searched to know what love is, but with each relationship or interaction I grow more aware of what love is not and can put that knowledge to use when loving others.  I realize I don’t always acted lovingly and have contributed greatly to failed friendships and courtships.  Even today I find myself acting out what seems to be the anthesis of love.  I sometimes do things that are in direct contrast to the teachings on what love is in 1 Corinthians like being impatient with my father or snapping at my mother when I’m in a bad mood.  In past relationships with men I thought loving someone meant that they became yours, I practiced a jealous, possessive ‘love’ and still have to fight with my flesh because it always wants to be in control.  As I’ve matured I know that love is giving someone the freedom to be themselves and to follow their passions while supporting them.  Love isn’t withholding affections or attention out of spite nor is it trying to change someone by constantly pointing out areas of lack but allowing them to better themselves and acknowledging their humanity through grace.  Many of the lessons I’ve learned are because they were enacted upon me and I realized that it didn’t feel like the joy of receiving love.  Throughout my life I’ve had three pretty serious relationships and can pinpoint areas that didn’t feel like love at the time in one relationship I learned that love did not feel like physical and emotional abuse and felt the long term effects that could come from hurtful words. Love doesn’t feel like being unsupported, lied to, ignored, unwanted or taken advantage of.  I’ve learned that love means serving, it means putting someone else first and not being selfish but ironically it also does not mean caving into their every want and desire especially if it’s to their detriment.  Many of these feelings about love are obvious, but there are many of us that remain in loveless relationships despite the revelations.  I ran across this video by one of my new fav YouTubers about the seven things we mistake for love and wanted to share!  Let me know your thoughts!

be blessed

court

Is online dating the Christian way?

Man offering a rose to a beautiful woman over laptop screenSince breaking up with my ex earlier this year I’ve had numerous people attempt to set me up with guys, get me to go out more in an effort to meet ‘the one’ and one friend in particular that was bent on ushering me back into the world of online dating. In the past I have visited that world and honestly couldn’t wait to get home!  The thought of seriously engaging in online dating made me cringe.  Having to journey through over crowded man catalogues and sorting the good from bad apples was really not something I felt mentally prepared to endure at that time.  But after knowing a hand full of people that are now happily married through online dating and listening to my friend who was recently engaged to someone she met online I saw a little bit of silver shimmer on the outer edge of that once dark cloud.  Finally, I honestly think out of wanting to fill the void of loneliness I gave into her urgings and my curiosity and opened an account.  Unfortunately, the experience was once again lack luster and my silver shimmer was soon revealed to be just some annoying glitter that clings unrelentingly to every part of your clothing and body!  My interaction on the account went from sometimey to rarely reeeeeal quick as I interacted with men that didn’t quite get where I was coming from or going.  Maybe I didn’t try long enough or was on the wrong site but one thing I struggled with was the thought that I was outside of God’s will by dating online.  I didn’t know if I was truly relying on or trusting God to bring my husband or if I was taking it upon myself to seek out a mate because I was too impatient to wait on God’s best?  If the latter was true, I already knew that things could only end badly and definitely did not want that.

Since I realized that my reasons for opening the account in the first place weren’t going to bring about a healthy return I refrained from using the site in leiu of growing my relationship with God and building a solid spiritual foundation.  I have however decided within those months that online dating is fine for Christians, at least this Christian (since I can only speak for me) if I ever decide to give it another go.  Here are three reasons why…

It is a tool:  When I decided it was time to purchase my home, I went to the interenet, the same with a car and school.   I use the interenet daily to help me get along in life and why should dating be any different?  These tools were provided to make my life  easier and options plentiful.  Believe me, I know choosing a mate isn’t as simple as buying a car but the ablitity to see what people are about, what their intentions are, if they are honest, and some general information right off the bat makes it slightly easier to choose.

God isn’t limited:  But I can choose to limit my options.  Have you ever heard the story about the man that was drowning and he ask God for help, God sends a boat (amongst other methods of escape) but the man doesn’t take it because he is waiting on God.  When the man get’s to heaven he ask God why he didn’t help him nd God is like ‘well I sent a boat’.  Yeah, I kind of feel the same way about using online dating services.  I don’t know where it says that using the services are wrong and by limiting my interaction with others I put boundaries on the people I can meet, including those that may turn out to be great friends or just people that I can be a light for by talking to them about God.  I realize God can do anything, He can bring the man for me straight to my doorstep or to my inbox online.

It does not take away from my Christian walk:  If I were to go on a blind date with someone he would know on our initial date where my head was and that I was a woman of God attempting to live my life as such.  No one night stands, no kissing etc and there’s nothing different online.  My profile statement and photograph make it clear that I’m not here for anything more than making a connection with someone whose goal is to make Christ the center of their life as well.

What are your views about Christians dating online?

God Bless,

Court 🙂

Guarding your heart when dating

couple heart bottom

Guarding our hearts is crucial to our walk with God, in Proverbs 4:23 we learn that we are to keep our hearts with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.  This tells me that it is an ongoing process and it will take self control and effort on my part.  Throughout the bible we see that God actually searches our hearts and in Matthew and Luke we learn that out of the mouth the heart speaks.  We can choose to store good and peaceful things or evil things in our hearts and our true character is built based on what we have built up within our hearts.  I definitely want God to be happy with what he finds in my heart so I know that I must be vigilant about protecting it and filling it with good fruit.  The heart is fragile and even in our bodies we have the ribs as protection around the physical organ so why would we think that there shouldn’t be added security around our spiritual hearts?

There are many aspects to guarding our hearts and can stem from the obvious such as the company we keep and the places we go to the not so obvious like not watching certain television shows and listening to some music.  Throughout my dating experience I have learned that making sure to protect your heart early on can save you a lot of heartache later.  Just because you feel sparks when a guy touches you or there is always excitement built around your encounters does not mean that this is God’s best for you or that you are going to be compatible in the long run.  In the past I have given my heart to boyfriends completely, only to end up heart broken as the relationship unraveled for whatever reason.  Part of the reason in each of these cases was improper protection of my heart.  I have come to a place in my life where I desire to relieve any preventable heart break and genuinely pursue relationships God’s way and under His protection or not at all.  Throughout this process, I have grown to understand that guarding my heart does not mean building an impenetrable wall or hardening my heart as I had in the past.  It does however mean placing boundaries around my heart as a safe guard to allow the right people in.  Below are five ways  I plan to use when dating going forward, let me know if you think of more!

  1. Loads of prayer! – Philppian’s 4: 6-7 tells us that we are not to be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our request be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.  Of course this scripture pertains to so much more than dating but I can clearly see that the first and probably most crucial step in guarding my heart when pursuing a relationship is prayer!  Upon meeting someone that I may have an interest in I will pray for discernment, wisdom and for the Holy Spirits guidance when navigating the relationship.
  2. Release the outcome – So many times I think I held on to the thought of what I created and shaped our future as a couple to be that I failed to look at the reality of what actually was.  It’s a harsh reality, but sometimes when this is done the other person may not even be at that level in the relationship yet, so while you’re thinking about how great his last name sounds with your first he’s contimplating if he wants to see you or the other girl that he’s dating this weekend.    Just as a general  character trait (and sometimes flaw) I hate to give up on anything, but eventually realized that there comes a point when you have to let go of the future and give it to God.  Constantly thinking about the future you could have with a person rarely leaves much room for truly getting to know them in the present.   Not being tied to a particular outcome will make it a lot easier to let go of them if they turn out to be  a wrong fit.  Whereas if you have already built a mental future with a person it can be sometimes be quite difficult to even think of replacing them with someone else.  In 2 Corinthians 10:5 – we learn that we are to take every thought captive so that we can obey Christ, which means although it may be difficult I can and must control my thoughts.
  3. Practice the art of detachment  – Remaining emotionally detached  and keeping my emotions in check is easier said than done, especially if I genuinely like someone and enjoy their company.  I usually will want to spend as much time as possible with them, getting to know more about them, talking to them throughout the day etc etc.  There is nothing wrong with getting to know someone, but there is something wrong with making them the center of your life, in other words an idol.  Remaining detached and regularly realigning with what keeps you grounded (for me reading the bible, connecting with God, friends and family) on a regular basis will help you from losing yourself while finding out about your partner.  Although you will devote time to them, always keep doing you and live your life.  Being able to view that person from an grounded point of view and not one that’s emotionally charged can help make a realistically sound decision about them.  Once you have your heart and mind invested in someone it can be difficult to see things clearly sometimes to the point where even glaring red flags may be overlooked on a consistent basis.
  4. Limit physical contact – Personally once intimacy has come into play my attachment to a person goes up 100%and as Christian women we know that fornication is wrong, but there are so many other types of physical contact that can set small fires which eventually cause a huge uncontrollable roaring fire.  Even something as simple as talking about sex which can plant seeds or sending certain photos can cause a brother or sister in Christ to slip.  Early on I plan to set boundaries with my partner letting him know what types of touch and interactions I wish to reserve for more serious levels of our relationship.  Since the bible only indicates sexually immorality as a sin I think couples should do what works for them and many choose to only go out to public places, in groups, not to kiss or even hold hands initially.  In an interesting article I read on phycology today they noted that  touch is one of the most fundamental ways of fostering and communicating intimacy in a romantic relationship.*  The question is how quickly do you want to fan that flame?  Self-control will ultimately have to be practiced on both ends, especially if you’ve had sex in previous relationships.  By  limiting physical contact you create room to get to know the person on a truly intimate level and are allowing the relationship to flourish in other ways without having to lean on sex or other physical acts which can always be explored later.  God tells us that we are to flee from and put to death, like literally slay and destroy, all sexual immorality which is an earthly or fleshly desire, if not we will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Since we are His bridegroom, we can pretty much say that we are in a committed relationship with Jesus and married to Him spiritually but will refrain from cheating on Him physically!
  5. Give purpose to your dating (courting) – Although it may not always be possible, I know that clear  communication is key to making a relationship work and being on the same page as to the purpose of your union can only come about through taking the time to candidly discuss your relationship goals.  If one person wants to date for the sake of seeing where things will lead and the other is focused on marriage the relationship could take a drastic turn for the worse if these desires are never communicated.  In the same vein, both couples could be seeking marriage but one a year down the line and another ten years down the line.  I also don’t believe that communication should be limited to just talking about marriage, but also the significance of your individual walks with God and how you plan to come together to further His kingdom.  Can you do more for His kingdom as a team or as singles?  So many times people become a couple for selfish reasons, but the more I grow up in Christ I learn that relationships are for His glory and not solely for the pleasure of the two people involved.  If the relationship is within God’s will and the focus on God it will be blessed.

God bless!

Court😊

*The Power of Touch

8 dating rules mature christian women live by


If I compare my views on dating over the past three decades I can truly say that they have shifted tremendously with age and maturity.  I wanted to share some ideals that have changed in my thinking of dating over the years.  These are things that I feel most mature Christian women keep in mind when dating and rules I’ve grown to live by.  Let me know if you agree or have more to add!

1. FOMO is a disease worth preventing:  By this I mean fear of missing out on meeting the man of your dreams! You no longer feel the need to drag yourself to the club every weekend or attend social events when you’d much rather be comfy in bed simply because you’re afraid of missing that chance encounter with Mr. Perfect for you. You are able to rest in the fact that when the time comes for you to meet it will happen no matter where you are, if God wanted to he could bring him right to your door.  It’s just not that serious and your purpose for going out has less to do with meeting a man and more about the personal experience of having a great time.  Besides, most of us have been to the club a gazillion times and have  met Mr. Horrible breath, Mr. Much too pushy and Mr. Stalk you all night but never Mr. Right!

2. Resist emotional attachment:  At least until his representative exits stage left and you’re sure you can deal with his crazy, because let’s face it everyone has a touch.  You may feel the flutter of butterflies in your stomach, your words may get jumbled somewhere between your tongue and lips from nervousness when he’s around but somehow you still manage to remain planted in reality.   Your desire to take it slow, guard your heart and refusal to get caught up in the what if’s is a very intelligent move.  You realize that some relationships are sizzling hot one day and fizzle out the next so you are able to keep your emotions in check and remain observant of his actions and words. Of course after dating someone for a while thoughts of white poufy dresses, last name changes and babies may begin to infiltrate your daydreams but you definitely don’t have your wedding planned after the first few dates.

3. Date around: You get that there’s no need to become attached at the hip to a guy after only a couple of dates.  You have no problem keeping your options open as you find out where his head is and get to know him and you’re okay with him doing the same.  Of course being open and honest about the fact that there is no exclusivity until the time comes to take a more serious step is a necessity.  Granted there are people that get married after a couple of dates and it works out well for them, so if this is where God is leading you then hallelujah you’ve been blessed!

4. Make big life decisions like a boss: Waiting on someone to enter your life before you can start living it only hinders your progress as a person and possibly as a mate.  Going it alone with decisions like purchasing a home or moving to a new city can be scary, but worth it.  Although you may be fearful or nervous making a huge move alone you still do it scared, sometimes shaking in your boots scared!   The thought that you need a significant other to make a big leap in life is in my view a grave misnomer.    I’ve moved more than 1000 miles from home twice and last year took the leap into homeownership.  One of the comments I got from an older woman in my family was that the purchase was too permanent and what about marriage.  This type of thinking is fear based and I refuse to live my reality based on someone else’s and while I’ve learned a few things that I dislike (mowing the lawn being primary) I truly enjoy my humble abode.  I would encourage anyone that has the funds, desire and plans to make a giant life altering leap to go ahead and jump you will most likely soar and flying solo is actually pretty empowering.

5. Know when to opt out of dating drama:  While dating is fine, you realize that you don’t have to go out with someone simply because they ask or throw some affection your way.  While a man findeth a wife, the woman decideth to deny or accept his advances. Some times you just need a break from the entire scene or men in general and decide to take a much needed respite from dating.  Although slightly forced due to a break up, I recently gave up dating for months and grew tremendously from doing so.  I highly recommend it for anyone that has recently parted ways with a significant other or would like to make some beneficial life or character changes without the pressure of dating.

6.  You never have to prove yourself:  I can recall the countless times that I’ve met a man and before asking me about my spiritual beliefs, my background or goals he bee lines straight for what is apparently the most significant question of them all, ‘can you cook’ usually followed by ‘what you gone cook for me’.  As if being able to throw down in the kitchen automatically turned you into suzie homemaker.  The old adage tells us that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and many times a man will want you to prove that you are ‘wifey material’ prior to moving into a more serious status.  As I’ve matured in my dating style I don’t have the desire to prove much to any man and the answer that goes through my head when asked if I can cook is, yes I can cook, but why would I cook for you?  Mature women know that proving you can whip up a quick meal in a pinch or are good with money, kids etc is reserved for the man that is worthy of receiving those gifts not some random that may not be around after the third date.

7. Always remain focused:  Many times our purpose for dating is marriage as Christians, I include myself in that category as well.  I no longer date for the fun of simply going out because I don’t have the time to waste on men who aren’t marriage material.  Even if marriage isn’t your end goal, as you grow more mature you come to know what you want out of dating.  You know that time is valuable and tremendously more precious than a free meal, so you opt out of possibly unequally yoked partnerships to focus on more important things.

8. Dating does not mean sex:  As a Christian woman I have been walking the road of abstinence since my last relationship.  It’s pretty easy to do while not dating, but I know it may become a bit more difficult when I enter into another serious relationship as the temptations will surely come.  But I also know that I don’t desire to move too fast with anyone and that goes for any physical contact including hugging and kissing.  The world sells us a view of dating that goes hand in hand with sex, as Christians living for a God that calls fornication a sin, we don’t buy the hype.  I know for me l almost instantly grow more attached to the person after sex and in an effort to guard my heart chose to reserve my body for the man I marry.

God Bless
Court

Six signs you aren’t ready to be the queen to his king…

There are some signs in a person’s character that exhibit emotional immaturity and many of them don’t do well to preserve a healthy relationship.  How do I know?  Because I’m basically an expert on what not to do in a relationship as I have caught myself doing most of the things listed below.   Getting past these issues means being mindful of their presence and  consistently doing the difficult work to better yourself.  There are eighty year olds I know who aren’t ready to be in a committed healthy relationship (I’m so serious)  so maturity has little to do with age.  We can catch ourselves acting out or using some of the ploys I list below at any age and many times to a mature godly man they will serve as red flags to hit the road and never look back!  If you notice them in yourself or are trying to better yourself, don’t berate yourself just make a conscious effort to do better and with time you will.

1.  Temper tantrums:  Need I say more, if you still pout, whine, throw things and cry etc when you don’t get your way then you are basically employing the tactics of a two-year old to shift the odds in your favor.   Temper tantrums aren’t cute on a 5-year-old, let alone a 25 or 35 year-old woman.  Instead they are sure signs of mental and spiritual immaturity and that you’ve got some growing up to do before entering an adult relationship.Weeping Woman On Floor  

2. Manipulative tactics: it’s all about you and what you want and you’ll use whatever tricks are necessary to get it.   Using sex, tears or withholding affection to get your desired outcome are all manipulation tactics. Trying to get over on someone who cares for you is unfair, will cause a lack of trust and is seriously just plain trifling.  If he is a mature man he will likely grow tired of your games and leave you to play with the boys. fake tears

3. Unfair fighting:  If you use your words as weapons during arguments to inflict as much pain as possible without actually coming to blows then you don’t argue fairly.  Do you make snide remarks or throw other men in his face when he doesn’t do things your way? Do you kick him when he’s down, can’t find work or makes mistakes? A man needs respect and honor (which is basically a fancy word for more respect) from his mate. It’s sometimes easier to be mean than to choose support, gentleness or kindness but think about the long-term damage as opposed to trying to get back at them in that moment.  As women, we can sometimes have a quick tongue that can shoot venom fire balls at will and since we usually know exactly what buttons to push it’s easy to hurt a man’s pride.  Even if you’re angry always remember that sometimes the tude is unnecessary and you and your partner are on the same team! beyonce tude

4. Unwillingness to compromise:  You won’t take no for an answer, everything has to be your way or the highway & the word compromise has no place in your vocabulary.  Everyone wants what they want when they want it, but most mature adults know (and accept) the fact that they won’t always get everything in their timing.  I speak from experience because I can be as spoiled as they come and have to keep watch on this part of my character.  It’s a very selfish and self-centered way to go about life and relationships of any kind, especially a marriage as they are all about giving and taking and giving some more.  Getting to a point of being okay with compromise or actually not getting your way takes growth and loads of it, but it’s worth it to have a happy, healthy relationship. tamar gif

5. Uncontrollable emotions:  Have you ever watched the show Bridezillas and wondered how some of these women were able to date and marry someone?  Although a lot of their actions are extreme (and hopefully for the cameras), I’ve found myself thinking just that; and my next thought is usually ‘at least I’m not that bad’.  But the truth is I could very much resemble some of the women just to a lesser extent.  Yes, hormones are real but if you can’t (or won’t) try to purposefully control your emotions and consequently your actions, you’re basically like a ticking time ball and no one is going to want to be around when you explode.  The bible put’s it this way: He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.  It compares a person that can’t control themselves to a broken down city without protection, you have no barriers against thieves and looters, mainly the devil who comes to steal, kill and destroy.  In this case you are letting him steal, kill and destroy your partnership. tyra melt down

6. You don’t speak life:  I was raised in a house full of women, I also grew up with an awesome dad in my life but saw him mainly on the weekends and didn’t really get a chance to see what a positive, thriving relationship looked like.  Fast forward to today and I still struggle with not picking out the negatives and things I don’t like a bout a mate in lieu of focusing on the positives and uplifting him for those qualities.  As I’m a grown woman I can no longer use what I didn’t learn during childhood as an excuse for not building up the man in my life  today.  It takes a very conscious effort to focus on the positives and although I haven’t reached Barnabus status yet, I have learned that it is important to speak life into your relationships and situations, he’ll love you all the more for it. jerk

God bless and here’s to a purposeFULL life! Court 🙂

Single for a reason

Months ago I prayed to God to block the entrance of any man who wasn’t my husband into my life. I was (and still am) seriously done with wasting time in the dating scene. I prayed this prayer soon after my last breakup simply because I was fed up and tired.  Exhausted to be completely honest, exhausted of falling for someone only to realize years into the relationship after I had played wifey, after the cheating, the lies, the games and the fleeting dreams of marriage and a family together that we were never meant to be.  I was tired of trying to make it work with someone who hadn’t even saw value in me to make me his wife. Tired of running into men who although they say they want to do things the God way we still somehow end up in fornication. I went through this process three times during my adult life and although it may not be a lot for some, that was more than enough for me. Granted throughout the years I was no angel in relationships although I never physically cheated I kept ‘friends’ that I knew were interested in me around, I consented to fornication with my boyfriends, feared putting all my eggs into one basket and played the little petty games that many do when dating and ultimately lost.  I suppose I grew most tired of just that, losing, always coming to the end of a relationships feeling as if I had lost a piece of me that I could never get back yet again. It’s exasperating, frustrating and most of all painful, but in my case necessary for me to reach the point where I gave the heartache, the pain and the confusion to God and focused on Him.

In the past if I broke up with someone it wasn’t long before I found another man to keep me occupied while I nursed the wounds of a broken heart.  While we wouldn’t have sex I would allow myself to form an emotional attachment with them or go out just so I wouldn’t think about my ex. Neither of these were the right thing to do, because as I wouldn’t think about the pain or loneliness while I was out having fun but it was always waiting for me at home. I wasn’t fulfilled with these outings and grew to understand that I would never be, because what I wanted was so much more than an empty relationship. Although a couple of the men wanted to take it further and date seriously, something always held me back from progressing. There was no peace in the thought of spending a lifetime with them and if I couldn’t see that then I didn’t want anything more. Ultimately I would find something I didn’t like about them so I could easily keep my distance while still going out and having fun without delving too deeply into feelings even if they had them for me, basically I was led them on, which was so wrong.

Since praying the ‘anti-counterfeit’ prayer and becoming more purposeful in who I choose to spend time with, my dating life has been, shall we say, pretty nonexistent.  I have turned down dates by men that I know aren’t for me and old familiar faces have popped up every now and then but I choose to focus on my growth at this point in my life and devote time to having a stable foundation with God while still having a ball doing life.  I live my life and try to appreciate living it solo, as there may be a time when I long for the solitude I have now. I am able to travel to different places, have fun with friends, meet new people, become more involved with the church and try to simply enjoy the days as they come. There are moments of loneliness, but I realize they are just moments and the feeling passes when I remember that I am single for a reason. My reason no longer consist of bettering myself for a husband that may or may not ever show up, but becoming the woman God wants me to be, to form a deeper relationship with Him, to grow in faith and to hear His voice so clearly that I have no doubt when He whispers which way I should go. I long for a relationship like that with God and if being unattached is what brings me closer to Him then I would have it know other way.

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God Bless,

Court